Clubhouse UX teardown: A closer look at homepage curation, follow hooks, and other features

Clubhouse UX teardown: A closer look at homepage curation, follow hooks, and other features

Clubhouse, the social audio app that first took Silicon Valley by storm and is now gaining wider application, is an interesting user experience case study. According to App Annie, the growth of the Hockey Stick – 8 million global downloads last month despite being in pre-launch, invitation-only mode, according to App Annie – will die for most startups.

However, it also means that UX problems can only solved in “full flight” – and that changes in the user experience will felt on a scale, rather than covering a small, loyal and (usually) forgotten user base. In our latest UX teardown, Mars founder and UX expert Peter Ramsey and build for TechCrunch reporter Steve O’Brien discuss some of the build clubhouse’s UX challenges as it moves at a time when trying to create enough adhesive to keep new users moving.

Peter Ramsay: Getting Content Feeds Properly Notoriously difficult which post should you see? How should you order them? How do you filter sound? In Clubhouse, once you have removed all available cells in your feed, you will ask to follow more people to see more cells.

In other words, Clubhouse inadvertently describes how things decide what you see, for example, your homepage is a short list of rooms based on the people you follow. If there is no problem: I do not follow half the people already in my feed. 

Steve: But Twitter has a search page that shows random content that I do not control.

Peter: The short term, yes. People will use the homepage in the same way they would use Instagram’s search page (which only needs to browse occasionally). In the end, however, this content needs to be consistently relevant or people will lose interest.

Peter: Yes, but they also have a home feed that you control. It is also good to have more random “slot machine style” content feeds – but you need a base layer.

Peter: In the early days of Twitter, the team noticed something in their data: when people follow at least 30 people, they are much more likely to be around, this is often described as the “aha moment” – the moment a product’s utility really clicks for the user. This story has become an early folktale, and I have worked with many organizations who have taken this message very literally, forgetting the analogy of what they received: It is not enough to follow 30 random people – you have to follow 30 people who really care about you to do.